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Is My Dog Too Old For Cruciate Ligament Knee Surgery (TPLO surgery)?

Is My Dog Too Old For Cruciate Ligament Knee Surgery (TPLO surgery)?

Deciding that your dog needs surgery can be a big decision, surgery is always risky but there are factors which can make it more so.

Knowing the risk factors and being able to make an informed decision for your dog, can make all the difference however.

When is Cruciate Surgery Best?

Surgery for cruciate ligament surgery has a high success rate however this does not mean it is the best option for every dog. There may be many reasons why, for you and your dog, it is not the right choice. In general, cruciate ligament surgery is recommended for younger, fitter dogs, which are not overweight and have a good chance of a successful recovery.

However, it is really important to remember that each dog is an individual and each vet is also different, so please discuss this with your vet, on a case-by-case basis, for their specific advice on whether or not surgery is the best option for your dog.

Titus Took The Non-Surgery Route

Titus, a husky, did not have TPLO surgery as he was 10 years old. It's really worth reading his story further to see how his owner chose alternative options to surgery, and Titus made a full recovery.

Watch here how Titus, the husky, and how he recovered from his cruciate ligament injury without surgery

A dog's age alone does not determine whether they are too old for surgery. Each dog is an individual, and the decision to perform surgery should be based on a comprehensive evaluation of your dog's overall health, including factors such as organ function, mobility and recovery.

This is something you can discuss with your vet, who can help you make an informed decision.

Treatment Options

Treatment options for cruciate ligament injuries vary, depending on several factors such as the severity of the injury, the size, age and breed of your dog, as well as their overall health. For dogs where surgery is not an option there are a variety of alternative, non-surgical treatments which can help. 

Cruciate Knee Brace

Firstly, a knee brace can help to support and stabilise your dog’s knee joint, making it easier for them to mobilise again. However please note, where there has been a complete rupture or tear of the cruciate ligament, the ligament won’t repair, even if your dog’s wearing a brace.

Find Dog Cruciate Knee Braces here


Dog Wheelchair

Secondly, a dog wheelchair can be used to rehabilitate a knee injury, by reducing load on the limb and allows your dog to remain active without exacerbating the injury. For dogs with a fully ruptured ligament who can’t have surgery, wheelchairs can be literally life changing, by helping maintain mobility and preserve muscle mass. They also provide mental stimulation and allow your dog to exercise freely. All of these element’s help keep a good quality of life for your dog.

Read about the use of Dog Wheelchairs here

Previous article Reasons Your Dog May Lose Hind Leg Mobility

What is a Dog Cruciate Ligament Knee Injury? Causes, Prevention and How to Help

A dog cruciate ligament injury might start with a dog limp, bunny hop or not weight bearing on their back leg

Read about Cruciates

Jeff, the Terrier Dog, Suffered a Ruptured ACL Knee Ligament

Jeff was out in the garden chasing a squirrel when he must have turned too quickly, he was then not able to put any weight on his back leg

Read about jeff

Teddy, my American Akita Dog, Tore Both His ACL Knee Ligaments

When Teddy was 8 years old the issue with his back legs started, he began limping from his hind left leg

Read about Teddy

Best Dog Cruciate Ligament Knee Braces

Find our full range of Dog Cruciate Ligament Knee Braces below. If you are looking for an alternative to ACL surgery, these cruciate knee braces can be a substitute

Best Cruciate Knee Braces
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